Senate confirms Northey to USDA leadership post

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue applauded the Senate’s long-awaited confirmation of Bill Northey to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Northey will serve as Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service.

Perdue issued the following statement:

“I applaud Bill Northey’s patience over these many months, which demonstrates what a strong leader he will be at USDA. We thank everyone who worked on his confirmation. Bill will come aboard at a crucial time, as his knowledge and expertise will be immediately put to use as the new Farm Bill is formulated to address the needs of American farmers. In addition, his leadership will be key in the newly-constituted mission area, where the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Risk Management Agency will be providing an even better customer experience. I am excited to finally have Bill on board.”

Northey was nominated to fill the position in September 2017. His nomination was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee. After a 4-month hold by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Iowa’s agriculture secretary has finally been confirmed to fill the USDA position.

“I’m pleased the Senate advanced Mr. Northey’s nomination. I have no doubt he will be a champion for farmers and ranchers at USDA. Our committee worked in a bipartisan fashion to get Mr. Northey down the road to work at USDA,” Senator Pat Roberts, R-KS, said.

Iowa Farm Bureau President, Craig Hill, issued this statement following Northey’s appointment as USDA undersecretary to lead the office of Farm Production and Conservation:

“For the past decade, Bill Northey has served admirably as Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture and we wish him all the best in his new role with the USDA leading the newly-created office of Farm Production and Conservation.

Under the leadership of Secretary Northey, Iowa’s agricultural economy has grown and diversified and Iowa continues to be recognized as a national leader in conservation. Northey has been instrumental bringing new conservation opportunities and advocating for Iowa farmers seeking new and improved conservation practices on their farms. Northey has received praise and accolades for spearheading Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy which has been held up as a model for states in the Mississippi River Watershed.

Secretary Northey’s years of work improving water quality and conservation makes him extremely qualified to lead this new office within the USDA. It’s important to have someone who truly understands agriculture in this important role, and Northey’s experience as a farmer, success leading the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and strong work ethic makes him a great fit for the position. We look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role.”